The Cornish in Latin America

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Significant numbers of Cornish miners arrived from 1824-5 to work in Latin American mines that lay derelict, abandoned and flooded due to the Wars of Emancipation raging across the continent. Backed by large amounts of British capital some mines were rehabilitated and once more became successful enterprises. In several mining regions of Latin America, such as Fresnillo and Pachuca-Real del Monte in Mexico, the signs of a Cornish industrial landscape complete with masonry engine houses with integral chimneys, betray the involvement of the Cornish in bringing the industrial revolution to those shores. 

But far less tangible evidence for their intimate connection with the Latin American mining industry exists on countless mine maps and plans, the workings often described in typically Cornish terms. For not only did the Cornish bring with them new working practices such as the tribute system, but a vast new mining terminology, some of it derived from the Cornish language. This was added and blended to a rich Ibero-American technical vocabulary resulting in a global mining language. Some of the most common terms and phrases are given; Ibero-American terms are in italics.

FaeneroRubbish carrier.
FaenasWork done by common labourers, such as clearing rubbish
FathomUnit of measurement used in mines. One fathom equals 6 feet.
FaultAn intersection of the strata.
FlangTwo pointed pick
Flat rodsRods for communicating motion from the engine horizontally.
FlookanA soft clayey substance generally found accompanying the crop courses and slides, sometimes the lodes. Also refers to a cross vein or course comprised of clay.
FootwallThe wall under the lode; also referred to as the underlying wall.
FootwayThe ladders by which the workers ascend and descend.
ForkA mine 'in fork' has all the water drawn out; the bottom of the engine shaft.
FrenteAn end; the extremity of an adit or other level.
Fuze or FuseStraws or hollow briars, reeds, etc., filled with gunpowder.

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